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GRI and the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) embrace a universal approach to the sustainable development agenda. They explicitly call on business to use creativity and innovation to address development challenges and recognize the need for governments to encourage sustainability reporting.

 GRI and the Sustainable Development Goals


​GRI is the bridge between businesses and governments, enabling them both to make positive contributions to the UN SDGs. Business and government leaders can agree with international principles, but without guidance on how to put them into practice, little can be accomplished. We help organizations align big picture, principle-based approaches with the reality of data-driven reporting. This is also true of our work on the SDGs. GRI championed a strong private sector role in the development of the goals and assists with follow-up and review, and is mobilizing businesses understand and contribute to the SDGs. Our work in support of the SDGs empowers the sustainable decision making needed to achieve the goals, in line with our five-year focus announced earlier this year.

GRI-Business Call to Action Report – Measuring ImpactEnabling Smart PolicyBetter Data for Better DecisionsTarget 12.6 – Live TrackerExpert Corner Webinars SeriesCorporate Leadership Group Reporting 2030SDGs Webinar TrackSDG Mapping ServiceSDG Compasse-Learning Course: Gender Equalitye-Learning courses: progressing on SDGsFace to face workshops: Progressing on SDGs


 Enabling Smart Policy

GRI championed the inclusion of a strong private sector role in the SDGs, as seen in Target 12.6.
Throughout the development process of the Sustainable Development Goals, GRI has worked in collaboration with the UN and other international organizations to champion the inclusion of a strong private sector role in the SDGs. SDGs Target 12.6 encourages companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycles.

By acknowledging that significant private sector action is needed to foster sustainable development, the
SDGs leap forward from the Millennium Development Goals, which they now replace. Going forward, GRI will continue engaging with national and regional governments, as well as international authorities, to enable smart policy in furtherance of the SDGs.

GRI - Business Call to Action/ United Nations Development Program Publication
'Measuring Impact: How Business Accelerates the Sustainable Development Goals' is a joint publication from Business Call to Action (BCtA) and GRI, to share early learnings on private sector support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It examines how companies measure their contribution to the SDGs through impact measurement and sustainability reporting, and explores how governments consider the business contribution to the SDGs. The report draws on consultations with 32 companies and 19 governments.

 Better data for better decisions


GRI supports decision makers who are committed to achieving the SDGs. Our work in this area is focused on the sustainability reporting process, the value of the information that comes from it and getting this data into the right hands. By helping companies report their contributions to the SDGs, we facilitate the creation of data, which governments can use to track progress and inform better decision making. 

Aligning levels of measurement

The UN Statistical Division has developed indicators to measure the progress on the SDGs, and is currently exploring how to capture private sector contributions. Through engagement with the Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDGs, GRI wants to make sure that private sector contributions to the SDGs are duly taken into account and smartly measured.
CBS (the statistical bureau in the Netherlands) and ISTAT (the Italian statistical office) have used GRI indicators in the past for sustainable development indicators. Furthermore, a taskforce was jointly set up by the OECD, Eurostat, UNECE and a selection of national statistical commissions to prepare a framework for measuring sustainable development and associated sets of indicators. The project additionally explored the vertical convergence between different levels of indicators: company, national, and international.

GRI also co-founded the Measure What Matters project – a global initiative that aims to bring greater alignment between corporate, national and global sustainability data frameworks.